LANGUAGE AND LOGIC IN-CLASS EXERCISES

 

 

LANGUAGE FORM AND FUNCTION

 

Instructions: For each of the following statements, indicate the (a) form of language and (b) function of language used.

 

Example:

“The door is brown”

Answer: declarative form, informative function

 

1. “What time is it?”

2. “The bar is now closed”

3. “Oh for the love of Pete!”

4. “Why are you yelling at me?”

5. “I would like some coffee.”

6. “This is the best day of my life!”

7. “Shut the door.”

8. “This is your last warning.”

9. “Lincoln was the 16th U.S. President.”

10. “I hereby dub thee the Masked Keg-Chugger

 

Answers: (1) interrogatory form, directive function; (2) declarative form, informative and performative function; (3) exclamatory form, expressive function; (4) interrogatory form, directive function; (5) declarative form, directive function; (6) declarative form, expressive function; (7) imperative form, directive function; (8) declarative form, informative and performative function; (9) declarative form, informative function; (10) declarative form, performative function.

 

TYPES OF DISPUTES

 

Instructions: Determine whether the following pairs of statements involve disputes about (1) fact, (2) verbiage, (3) value, or (4) some combination of these.

 

Example

(a) Bob is a devout religious believer. He speaks well of everyone and gives friendly assistance to anyone who is in need; (b) I wouldn’t call Bob a devout religious believer since he spends his Sundays working in his yard or playing golf.

Answer: disagreement in terminology about “devout religious believer” and value about essential qualities of religious belief

 

1. (a) Bob often attempts to win by unorthodox methods; (b) Bob cheats at games.

2. (a) Bob has a marvelous imagination; (b) Bob has no respect for facts.

3. (a) I see from the financial news that money is much more plentiful than it was six months ago; (b) That can’t be true; I read a government report that more old currency has been destroyed at the mint than has been replaced.

4. (a) A tree falling in a forest with nobody around to hear will produce no sound since there can be no auditory sensation unless someone actually senses it; (b) No, whether anyone is there to hear it or not, the crash of a falling tree will set up vibrations in the air and will therefore produce a sound in any event.

5. (a) it was in bad taste to serve roast beef at the banquet since there were Hindu’s present; (b) Bad taste, nothing! That was the tastiest meal I’ve had in a long time!

6. (a) This University overemphasizes athletics since it has constructed new sports buildings instead of badly needed classroom space; (b) this University does not overemphasize athletics since its academic standards are high and it has many non-athletic extra-curricular activities.

7. (a) Senator Bob is a genuine liberal since he votes for every progressive measure that comes before the legislature; (b) he is no liberal since the old skinflint contributes less money to worthy causes than any other man in his income bracket.

8. (a) Bob got rid of his old Honda and bought himself a new car since he’s driving a Toyota now; (b) No he didn’t buy himself a new car since that Toyota is three years old.

9. (a) Bob got rid of his old Honda and bought himself a new car since he’s driving a Toyota now; (b) No he didn’t buy himself a new car since it’s his roommate’s Toyota that he is driving.

10. (a) Professor Bob is one of the most productive scholars at the University since his bibliography of publications is longer than those of any of his colleagues; (b) I wouldn’t call him a productive scholar since he has never produced any new ideas or discoveries in his entire career.

11. (a) “You can sometimes see the spirits of dead people in graveyards at night time”; (b) “No, spirits are not three-dimensional things that can be seen.”

12. (a) “That is one good piano player, he was flawless!” (b) “as we’ve debated, nothing is morally good or bad in itself, so the piano player is at best morally neutral, and on top of that, didn’t you hear all the mistakes that he made?”

 

Answers: (1) disagreement in value over morality of cheating; (2) disagreement in value about aesthetic creativity; (3) verbal disagreement only; (4) verbal disagreement only; (5) verbal disagreement only; (6) disagreement in verbiage and value; (7) disagreement in verbiage and value; (8) verbal disagreement only; (9) disagreement in fact only; (10) disagreement in verbiage and value; (11) disagreement in value only; (12) disagreement in fact about mistakes, verbiage over the word “good.”.

 

DEFINITIONS

 

Instructions: Determine whether the purposes of following definitions are lexical, precising, theoretical, stipulative, or persuasive. (Exercises are from Hurley’s A Concise Introduction to Logic.)

 

1. “Blind” means, for federal income-tax purposes, either the inability to see better than 20/200 in the better eye with glasses or having a field of vision of 20 degrees or less.

2. “Diffident” means lacking confidence in oneself; characterized by modest reserve.

3. “Politician” means a person of unquestioned honesty and integrity whom the people, in their collective wisdom, have duly elected to guide the ship of state and protect it from the reefs and shoals that threaten it on every side.

4. “Sound” means a compression wave, in air or some other elastic medium, having a frequency ranging (for humans) from 20 to 20,000 vibration per second.

5. “Petrograb” means invading a country to steal it’s oil.

6. “Psychiatry” means the fortuitous meddling of modern medicine with psychology that promises relief to thousands of poor, desperate souls who suffer the pains of emotional disorder.

7. “Intractable” means not easily governed; obstinate; unruly; not disposed to be taught.

8. “Assault” means, for legal purposes, an intentional and unprivileged act resulting in the apprehension of an immediate harmful or offensive contact.

9. “Bimboy” means a boy who is a total airhead.

 

Answers: (1) stipulative and precising (2) lexical (3) persuasive (4) precising or theoretical (5) stipulative and persuasive (6) persuasive (7) lexical (8) precising (9) stipulative and persuasive

 

Instructions: The following are examples of extensional and intensional definition techniques. If extensional, determine whether it is ostensive or enumerative. If intensional, determine whether it is synonymous, genus-difference, etymological, functional, or operational.

 

10. “Love” means an intense feeling of deep affection.

11. “Broom” is an instrument made for sweeping debris from floor surfaces.

12. “Shoe” is that thing right there on my foot.

13. “Salary” comes from the Latin word for salt, which was a form of financial compensation then.

14. “Hardness” means a scratch measurement on Moh’s scale of hardness between 1 and 10.

15. “Jacket” means covering.

16. “Philosophy” is logic, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, etc.

17. “Man” is a rational animal.

 

Answers: (10) genus-difference; (11) functional; (12) ostensive); (13) etymological; (14) operational); (15) synonomous; (16) enumerative; (17) genus-difference

 

Instructions: Using the five rules for definitions, determine what if anything is wrong with the following definitions (from Copi’s An Introduction to Logic)

 

18. “Knowledge” is true opinion.

19. “Life” is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.

20. “Base” means that which serves as a base.

21. “Honesty” is the habitual absence of the intent to deceive.

22. “Hypocrisy” is the homage that vice pays to virtue.

23. A “Painting” is a picture drawn on a canvass with a brush.

24. “War” is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to submit to our will.

25. A “hazard” is anything that is dangerous.

26. To “sneeze” is to emit wind audibly by the nose.

27. “Faith” is to believe something that you know ain’t true.

28. “Economics” is the science which treats of the phenomena arising out of the economic activities of men in society.

29. “Justice” is doing one’s own business and not being a busybody.

 

Answers: (18) too broad; (19) figurative and ambiguous language; (20) circular; (21) too broad, negative; (22) figurative and ambiguous; (23) too narrow; (24) to broad; (25) circular; (26) too broad; (27) too narrow; (28) circular; (29) too broad and too narrow.